Trikala (the coolest small city) and Meteora

(January 2023)

Trikala -the cool one in Thessaly, not the other one in Corinthia– is one of the most beautiful towns I’ve visited. Many describe it as being the most “European-like” city in Greece, and I think that must be because of the great job they’ve done with the town center, the fact that there is decent public transport, and also that it’s bicycle-friendly.

We stayed in Kalabaka, which is nearby and surprisingly cheaper – in terms of both accommodation and dining. We were right under the Meteora, near a brook – the soothing sound of running water was the only thing you could hear at night.

We planned this trip to visit the Mill of the Elves Christmas Theme Park which takes place annually at the Matsopoulos Mill Museum premises. The theme park is free to enter and there are individual tickets for the park games and activities. There are also kiosks with food and drink for all tastes.

To avoid crowds we chose to visit on January 5th, so there was no queueing at any of the activities. The kids enjoyed it, especially the ice skating!

The weather was a little cold but very sunny, so we took advantage of it and even attempted a little hiking under the great rocks of the Meteora.

The Meteora is a unique place. No description does justice to the real thing. We made a mistake going to the Great Meteoron on January 6th, which is an orthodox holiday. Unfortunately, the monasteries were too crowded with visitors. Kate and I were lucky enough to have visited most of the convents and monasteries some years ago with practically no people around. Nevertheless, the kids lost interest justifiably very quickly and I wanted to get out of there ASAP to get away from the noise and crowds.

Cocktails and board games(!) at a local bar

Everywhere we had lunch or dinner the quality and the prices were exceptionally good. As I mentioned, Trikala is a bit more expensive but there are so many nice places to eat and/or have a nice drink in the old part of the town.

What’s obvious is that the Trikala people (or maybe should I call them Trikaleans? 😄😄 ) really like their hometown and that some of them hold the mayor in high regard. While chatting with random people around the town, they told us that the city has improved vastly under the current mayor. This is something that’s not common in a lot of other cities.

Would I recommend Trikala for a short trip from Athens? Definitely yes, if you can stay for at least 2 nights. It has everything you would need for a relaxed and fun 3-day weekend.

Kamena Vourla


If you are traveling to Trikala from Athens by car – a 4-hour drive – make a stop mid-route at Kamena Vourla for loukoumades (google it).

Trikala, Meteora and a few photos from Karditsa and Kamena Vourla


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